Queen Revisits The Events Of First Show With Adam Lambert

Queen Revisits The Events Of First Show With Adam Lambert | Society Of Rock Videos

On the latest episode of Queen‘s 50th anniversary video series The Greatest, the band revisit their first full concert performance with Adam Lambert.

Brian May and Roger Taylor first encounter Lambert during the season 8 finale of American Idol. They regrouped the second time and performed at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards and prepared to launch a European tour under the Queen + Adam Lambert banner the following year.

As the tour is set to kick off, Queen and Lambert were offered a slot at a massive Let’s Stop AIDS Together awareness concert in Kiev, Ukraine’s Independence Square in front of a massive crowd of over 350,000 people and a TV audience of millions. The event took place on June 12, 2012 and became the lineup’s first full concert performance.

May recalls:

“I think it must have been the most terrifying moment for Adam. He didn’t look like it was terrifying. He looked like he did this every day.”


“I definitely was intimidated by the idea of singing somebody else’s songs, especially from such a beloved band.”

“In the back of my head, I was like, ‘Oh God, I hope this is the right idea’. You know, I’m so excited to sing these songs, but I don’t know how it’s going to be received.”


“It was a tall order, and I think we all knew it, and that gig was put in at the front of the tour to enormous numbers of people.”


“Elton John was on before us and I remember as Elton was rolling out hit, after hit, after hit. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I hope we’re up to this’”

There are times where Lambert would get help from keyboard player Spike Edney.


“I had a lot of help. Spike, who was on keys, I kept looking at over and over again, like, ‘am I supposed to come in here? How long is the guitar solo? Is it my turn?’”


“Because of his stage training, he was quite happy to take cues. He used to just check in with me and I’d give him a ‘yes’, and ‘no’ if it was wrong, meaning wait.”


“It was fun and it was thrilling, and it was what I love the most about being a vocalist, the adrenaline. It’s the thrill of something that could possibly go wrong. I like that. I like the danger in that.”

The two legends were impressed with Lambert.


“I had no doubts he could do it. It was good, you know, the feeling was good.”


“He’s out there, putting it out there, you know, and he sang great and interacted great, and it was a big success. An incredible thing for a new member of a group to step on stage and do that. I took my hat off to him at the time. And of course, the rest was easy after that.”

The ‘rest’, as Brian refers to, amounts to a total of 218 shows performed together the world over to an audience in excess of 3.6 million.

The band’s twice COVID delayed 36-date UK and Europe ‘Rhapsody Tour’ is due to resume in late May.

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